Leader S. Manel
Marine fish diversity constitutes a major source of provisioning services (proteins) for humans. Yet globally overexploited stocks hardly support artisanal fisheries, and the Mediterranean Sea is no exception. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are thought to sustain stocks and thus artisanal fisheries by adult spillover or larval dispersal beyond their boundaries. Quantifying these biological processes is critical to establish the conservation efforts that are necessary to maintain fish stocks, predict their impact on artisanal fisheries.
RESERVBENEFIT focus on 4 exploited species in a subnetwork of 15 MPA in the Mediterranean Sea. It introduces an interdisciplinary approach for evaluating and managing biodiversity dynamics (connectivity) in order to improve marine ecosystem functioning in delivering direct services (food: fish beyond their limits) and maintaining indirect supporting services (genetic diversity) in a seascape blue infrastructure (network of MPAs). The two scientific objectives are:i) Evaluating connectivity in regional cluster of the Mediterranean network of MPAs and defining threshold of connectivity to produce provisioning services (fish) and supporting services (maintenance of genetic diversity); ii) Combining socio-economic and ecological criteria (species diversity and connectivity) in conservation planning to design new reserves in the study area. The originality of the approach is: the scale of the study (one subnetwork of MPA); and the combination of genomic, ecological and socio-economic data to define critical thresholds of connectivity to secure services deliveries and design new reserves.